In news that is sure to please Chelsea supporters, one of their highly-rated transfer targets has spoken of his admiration for Frank Lampard and how he is flattered by the interest being shown in him.
Lille’s 22-year-old defender, Gabriel Magalhaes, has been tipped for the very top, and it appears that the Blues may well have stolen a march on their rivals, who reportedly include Arsenal and Everton.
“I am happy to see my name being linked with great teams,” Magalhaes said to Brazilian outlet UOL and cited by Metro. “It shows that the work I’ve done so far has been good.
“[…] He (Lampard) is one of those players that I admired on the small screen. But we have to be calm with all this. It is early and I renewed my contract with Lille until 2023.”
A fee of just £30m is quoted by Metro, which would seem to be a bargain price in the current market, particularly when you consider the youngster’s expected progression.
Lille president, Gerard Lopez, has added further fuel to the fire by suggesting that his player is being primed for a move to a bigger club, suggesting that Magalhaes is closer to one club than any other.
“It’s true that he would like to go and try something else out,’ Lopez told Sky Sports, cited by Metro.
“We haven’t taken that decision yet, but he’s received a number of offers. I feel he’s closer to one club than others, but nothing’s done yet so we’ll see. I wouldn’t want to say any more as I respect the player too much.
“[…] I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now. His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical. He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club.”
It seems evident that if Lampard can secure the youngster’s services, not only will he have one of the finest young defenders of his generation in situ, but one who he knows will look up to him even before a ball has been kicked in earnest.